In this article, I’m going to explain how to stop condensation in a tent, or at least reduce it to make your camping experience a lot more enjoyable.
Having condensation build up inside a tent makes for a pretty miserable camping experience, so knowing how to reduce it comes in pretty handy.
Anyone who has been camping a handful of times will have dealt with some dampness inside their tent I’m sure. Maybe it’s bothered you, maybe it hasn’t.
If you’ve had it bad enough that you’ve had soggy clothes, water dripping on your head while you sleep, or wet bedding, this post is definitely for you!
What Is Condensation?
I’m sure most will have a good idea of what condensation is. But understanding what it is and why it forms helps you understand why you’ve been dealing with it inside your tent.
Condensation is the process of water vapor in the air turning into liquid water. Usually in the form of small droplets of water that cling to surfaces.
As the temperature drops inside the tent overnight, the air reaches a point where it can’t hold onto the moisture and this is why the walls of the tent become damp.
Combined with hot bodies, hot breath, and other sources of dampness this can turn into a big problem inside a small enclosed space like a tent.
Why Do Tents Get Condensation Inside?
The main cause of condensation is actually the people in the tent. Breath is one of the main factors, and sweaty bodies also generate moisture.
You more than likely have the tent zipped up to keep warm and stop any rain or critters getting in. This means your breath has nowhere and clings on to the walls of the tent.
Obviously, if you’re also bringing wet items into your tent like clothes then the water is evaporating and also sticking to the sides of the tent.
Another reason is the climate and if there is a lake, stream, or another source of water nearby. The more moisture in the air the more condensation there is going to be.
How to Stop Condensation in a Tent
There are three main things to consider when reducing the amount of condensation in your tent:
Temperature of tent walls – The greater the difference in temperature between the walls of the tent and the air inside the more condensation will build up.
Adding a fly sheet can make a big difference, especially if you’re camping in rough weather conditions., as well as having an air vent.
Air circulation – You’ll have noticed that the condensation dissipates in the day when you have the tent open and fresh air is flowing in.
This is because the temperature inside and outside is being regulated by the airflow, and the moisture in the air is being reduced and given a path to evaporate away.
Volume of water vapor – While you can’t breathe less, you can bring less water into your tent. If you’re surrounded by damp stuff, you’re going to be in for a condensation problem.
Think about where you’re pitching up too. Keep away from running water, try and find some shade, and please – don’t cook inside your tent!
What You Can Be Doing
Flysheet – As mentioned above, using a flysheet or rain sheet as it’s also called can make enough of a difference for some people.
Make sure there is always a gap between the fly and the wall of the tent. When the two touch the moisture will transfer and might even leak through the walls.
Increasing ventilation – One of the problems is a lack of air ventilation, so increasing the ventilation is an obvious solution.
It’s easier said than done when you’re camping in sub-zero or wet weather. But some small adjustments can make a huge difference.
Some tents come with small vents, looking out for this when choosing a tent is always a good idea.
Otherwise, you need to leave the entrance open as much as possible. If you’re being pestered by bugs invest in an insect screen.
Location/tent considerations – When pitching your tent try and face any air vents into the oncoming wind to increase the air circulation inside the tent.
Try using a ground sheet if there is dampness in the area you’re pitching in as this will block some of the ground evaporation getting into the tent.